Rafa Nadal, who needed to take a medical timeout at the end of the second set. | James Ross


Wife Mery Perelló was in tears and his support team watched on helplessly and with emotion as Rafael Nadal struggled with injury during his second round match at the Australian Open and eventually lost in straight sets to American Mackenzie McDonald.

Rafael Nadal's wife, Mery Perelló, in tears as the player struggled with injury at the Australian Open

Nadal had been trailing by a set and a break of serve when he pulled up with what appeared to have been a hip problem. He took a medical timeout at the end of the second set but still seemed to be suffering as he lost 4-6, 4-6, 5-7.

He received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. His exit from the arena with waves to all sides once more raised questions as to his future. It was a complete contrast to last year when he won the tournament and then went on an astonishing run over the first half of 2022 before succumbing to injury at Wimbledon.

Since having to pull out at the semi-final stage at Wimbledon, Nadal has been affected by different injuries.